Tuesday 19 May 2015

Social Media Post Leads to Australian Government Threatening Johnny Depp’s Dogs With Death

We all know to think before posting on Facebook, but Australia’s ‘War on Terrier’ proves just how powerful the most innocent of posts can be.

Pistol and Boo at Happy Dogz. Photo: Gold Coast Bulletin

Johnny Depp’s dogs, Pistol and Boo, made international headlines last week when Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce gave the Yorkshire terriers until Saturday to leave Australia or face death. Depp and wife Amber Heard had flown on a private jet with the dogs to Queensland, but made no attempt to declare the pooches’ entry into the import law-heavy country. 

In a public statement last Thursday, Joyce showed little sympathy for the plight of Pistol and Boo: “[Depp] has decided to bring into our nation two dogs without actually getting the proper certification and the proper permits required. Basically it looks like he snuck them in. We found out he snuck them in because we saw them taken into a poodle groomer. Now, Mr. Depp has to either take his dogs back to California or we’re going to have to euthanize them. He’s now got about 50 hours left to remove the dogs.” Joyce continued to cite the threat of disease and an unwillingness to bend the law for celebrities as reasons for taking such extreme measures.

It should come as little surprise that Facebook played a role in the Australian government finding these dogs. Pistol and Boo were dropped off at Happy Dogz salon, dog groomer Lianne Kent posted a picture of an article featuring her with the dogs on Facebook, and the rest is history: enter Barnaby Joyce, Kyle Sandilands, John Oliver, and, finally, a $400,000 rescue mission.

Our actions are increasingly traceable these days. No longer can we make an off-color comment or sneak a dog or two into a country, because there is always someone watching. As such, there is no excuse for ignoring the realities of the modern era: we must be informed of the laws, know when we are following or breaking them, and take what precautions we can to maintain and protect our privacy.

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